The second week of free agency is underway and the purge of the Packers continued Monday afternoon with another key member of the offense heading out for, seemingly, greener pastures.
Wide receiver James Jones, who was an unrestricted free agent, had talked openly about his desire to return to Green Bay since the close of 2013.
Fans had hoped that somehow, he’d be back in a Packer uniform in 2014.
However, the interest simply wasn’t mutual between Green Bay front office officials and Jones’ representatives and talks never commenced in parallel when the start of free agency kicked off early last week.
Jones had remained muted in discussing his possible future plans but had started in recent weeks to publicly express interest in some of his options.
The list of teams he was reportedly being courted by included Indianapolis and San Diego.
Just yesterday Jones went on record in speaking with ESPN’s Josina Anderson saying, “I would love the opportunity to play for the Carolina Panthers. Anderson also quoted Jones as saying, “I would love to play with Cam [Newton].
Jones, however, didn’t end up with any of those clubs.
According to Jason Beech of CBS Sports, “The wide receiver signed with the Raiders on Monday.”
Financial terms of the deal weren’t immediately known.
Beech also said, “The 29-year-old went to high school in San Jose and attended college at San Jose State before being selected by the Packers in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft.”
The Raiders have a fairly deep and talented, yet unproven, core of wide receivers. But they’re not very long on winning and have a lot of question marks on offense.
Largest among those questions is who will be throwing him the football on Sundays in 2014?
Currently, Oakland has yet to name a starter among roster hold-overs Matt McGloin and Terrell Pryor, both whom started multiple games with mixed results in 2013.
There are rumors that the Silver and Black may draft a quarterback high in the upcoming NFL Draft this April.
Of course, it’s obvious that whomever ends up getting the nod behind center won’t be anywhere near as efficient as Aaron Rodgers. It’d be safe for Raider fans to expect a lower statistical ceiling for a player like Jones- who at this point is considered more of a number two receiver with upside (he had 14 touchdown catches to lead the NFL in 2012) than an elite, franchise number one pass catcher.
It’ll be interesting to see if current Oakland General Manager Reggie McKenzie shelled out 2012 dollars for his services and where he ends up in the starting lineup next fall.
With tight end Jermichael Finley a free agent and appearing likely to end up elsewhere in 2014 and wide receiver Randall Cobb coming off a severe knee injury that cost him much of last season, what impact does this have on the team’s draft strategy at the perimeter skill position on offense?
Jordy Nelson is obviously the undisputed number one target at this point. But who fits in behind him, Cobb and likely third slot receiver Jarrett Boykin?